HTC's chairperson, Cher Wang, has said that the company is stepping up its effort to develop new technologies including virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, 5G and blockchain, to rejuvenate its smartphone business. It's no secret that HTC has had trouble in the past five years or so with its smartphone business, with declining sales, and the company shifting its focus from many different smartphones to just a single flagship device. But the company isn't giving up.
Wang was speaking at the company's shareholder meeting which was held in Taiwan on June 26, talking about how these new technologies will be integrated into future HTC devices, to create new features for its future smartphones and its future direction. Wang also stated that deployments in these new areas will result in significant results in as little as two years. HTC is actually already invested pretty deeply in virtual reality with its Vive brand, which is said to have the best virtual reality experience right now. As expected, shareholders were expressing concerns about the company's smartphone business to Wang and the rest of the board of directors, but Wang is fairly certain that investing in these new technologies will pay dividends pretty soon.
HTC has had quarterly losses for the past three years straight. And the only time it has been able to cut those losses in a single quarter is when it sold a part of its business. A few years ago, it sold its stake in Beats Audio and was able to make a profit that quarter, and in the first quarter of 2018, HTC sold its ODM smartphone business unit to Google for around $1.1 billion. Wang said that the proceeds from that deal will help finance its continued efforts in these new technologies. HTC is already working on a blockchain-enabled smartphone, so Wang isn't just talking the talk, she is also walking the walk.